This show was organized by La Pena. I’m assuming because of their landlord problems, they opted to hold the show at the DAC. Or maybe this show was just too big for their space. Lots of familiar names, such as, Santa Barraza, Sam Coronado and Liliana Wilson with some fresh names like Ana Fuentes and Cecilia Colome from La Pena shows in 2006.
Los Cuatro Vientos, literally translates as “The Four Winds”, is described by the press release as the Four Directions (the cardinal directions). Save for a sculptural setup welcoming you into the gallery, the works in the exhibit neither orient you, nor transport you to such defining terms. Instead, images of indigenous Americans and their symbols fill the gallery. The immediate reaction is to assume that the people depict Mexican indigenous characters, but the American Southwest shares so much history that a pre-USA understanding helps soak in the info.
The paintings, drawings and prints excel in their technical proficiency. The whole show has an “old school” fine art feel to it. Its also an “old school” Chicano curation/argument. Because of that relationship to the works, they fell flat. I get it. You didn’t cross the border, the border crossed you. Yet even as those thoughts bogged down my senses, one artist’s handiwork stood out. Adolfo Mexiac included a couple of lithographs that needed no political statement to enhance the already fine draftsmanship present.
Thinking about this show for the past week and remembering “los cocos jovenes” shows from last summer, a question arose. Is there enough dialogue happening between these two different generations? Looking at older artists, I find myself asking if they could please move on or at least proffer a different argument for their case. Younger artists bring to question their knowledge of history, personal or otherwise. Maybe something stronger can be found in between?
The works are of fine quality but the show just comes off as another round of the same conversation. NOT BAD